How many people can you sleep with before you’re considered slutty/easy? When I was 19, I decided the magic number for a lifetime was 8. I had already had 1 serious boyfriend for the past year, and became irrationally worried that if I didn’t get married until I was 30, and dated ~1 guy/year, I would be doomed. I also didn’t consider oral sex to be real sex, and didn’t put blow jobs in my count. Even though I hated giving blow jobs, this became my way out in college to beat the “count” issue. If I felt pressured to have sex with someone I was dating, and didn’t want my count to go up, I would limit it to oral. Many college guys didn’t return the favor for oral, plus I wasn’t having “real sex” purely because of fear of being seen as slutty, when I could have been experimenting and discovering what I liked. Since I’ve graduated, I’ve definitely gotten over it, and have come to not let “count” weigh into my personal decisions whatsoever. I’m sharing this story because I hope anyone else who has this same worry will feel a sense of relief that it’s not just you, and count doesn’t have to drive how you think about sexuality!

-27, Boston, Female, Volleyball